Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke Commemorate the Second Anniversary of Haiti Earthquake
Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) reaffirmed their commitment to the long-term recovery efforts of Haiti by announcing new legislative initiatives that they will support upon their return to Congress. They released the following statement commemorating the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake that took place in Haiti on January 12, 2010:
“As we mark the two year anniversary of this horrible tragedy, we must not let up on our pledge to help rebuild Haiti,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Even as the people of Haiti have made great strides, there is still much more work to be done and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the incredible energy of Haiti’s people is met fully by American support, which leverages the knowledge and talents of the Haitian Diaspora. The survivors of the tragedy remind us of the strength, resilience, and hope that emerged from the rubble. We stand in unity with the Haitian people and remain steadfast in our mission to see Haiti overcome, recover, and succeed.”
“Two years ago, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti – one of the worst natural disasters in nearly a century. In memoriam, I call on people of good will in the United States and around the world to stand firm in our commitment to help mobilize the people of Haiti to reach their full potential and subsequently move Haiti forward in the quest to become a 21st century civil society with the tools they need to be self-sufficient and life affirming,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke announced their support of the following legislative initiatives in Congress:
· The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act –This bill would direct the President to report to Congress on the status of post-earthquake humanitarian, reconstruction, and development efforts in Haiti, including efforts to prevent the spread of cholera and treat persons infected with the disease.
· A Resolution Recognizing the Two Year Anniversary of the Earthquake in Haiti–This resolution honors the victims of the quake, the people of the U.S. and Haiti who helped the victims, and urges the President to maintain focus on Haiti.
· A Resolution that the U.S. Should Work with the Government of Haiti to address gender-based violence against women and children – Recognizing the high rate of sexual and other violence against women and children, the resolution praises certain steps that Haiti has taken and calls for more training of Haitian law enforcement, support for ministries responsible for these issues, and safety improvements in the displacement camps.
With one of the largest concentrations of first and second generation immigrants living in New York, Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. Clarke have worked diligently to ensure that the U.S. continues to address the needs of Haitians, Haitian nationals, and the Haitian Diaspora. Below you will find additional initiatives and letters that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke have worked on together in the 112th Congress.
· On January 11, 2011- Sent joint letter to President Barack Obama with House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, sent a bicameral, bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama to extend the expiration date of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of TPS for Haitian nationals living in the U.S. since January 12, 2011, allowing them to remain in the United States until January 22, 2013.
· On December 12, 2011- Reintroduced the Haitian Emergency Life Protection Act of 2010 (The H.E.L.P. Act) in the 112th Congress. This bill would allow an estimated 55,000 Haitians who already have approved immigration petitions to join their relatives in the United States.
· On December 15, 2011- Sent joint letter to President Barack Obama requesting DHS create the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program.
“It is our sworn duty to continue to stand with the people of Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora as they come together to implement a long-term recovery strategy in Haiti. We must strengthen our efforts to help members of the Haitian Diaspora, in the United States, joining those around the world – to bring stability to Haiti,” added Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “Much more must be done as we mark the second anniversary of this devastating earthquake. That is why I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, the NGO’s community in the U.S. and Haiti, as well as, the Haitian Diaspora to make sure that Haiti is fully restored to its rightful position as “The Pearl of the Antilles.”